Sunday, December 12, 2010

Flashback - Smashing the Excuse Demon

Flashback to December 18 of last year. I think MAYBE I had 5 followers and I had just started my blog.  I was thinking a lot about my races in 2010. Oh, and it was %$# cold.  Anyway, this is one of my favorites so I thought I would re-post. I left it as I originally posted it (note reference to upcoming races in 2010), with a few oh-so-minor edits.

Smashing the Excuse Demon

Every now and then when I am training, this small imaginary guy pops up on my shoulder and whispers, "You don't have time for that..." or "Oh man, you have tons of time before your next race, take a day off.." Today he was whispering, "It is way to freaking cold to go for a run."

I had to admit, this little dude had a point. This morning when I got up, my thermometer read -10 and the wind was howling. Welcome to winter training in Caratunk, Maine. It isn't the coldest I have trained in by any means (last year we had 2 weeks of between -30 and -40), but last week I was running in shorts, so this change was a little shocking to say the least. Since I was working at home, I moved my morning run to my lunch hour, hoping the temperature would creep up to at least zero.

As noon approached, the excuses creeped into my head. "You have too much work to do, you really don't have time..." and "Run tomorrow (which then turns into run tomorrow...then run tomorrow...)," and "Did you see it was -5 IN THE SUN you moron?"

That excuse demon was trying to work his way into my head, and he isn't easy to ignore when he speaks what is logic to most people.

As I was starting to give in to the reasons why I shouldn't run, I reviewed my goals for 2010. Granted, this one 5-mile run won't make or break my 2010 season, but whether or not I do it does set a precedent for my off season training. I want a solid base going into 2010, with a spring marathon and a late summer half iron man planned as key races, and this is just a piece of the foundation. I do not need the excuse demon to squeeze into any part of my training; I want him to be a spectator who eventually fades into the crowd.

So I bundled up, laced up my sneakers, and stepped outside. My nostrils froze instantly, and the thought slipped through my head, "Most people don't even ski in this weather, no wonder your neighbors think you are a freak."

Shrugging off the easy out, the excuse that would send me running back inside diving under a blanket with a big cup of hot cocoa and a good book, I pulled my scarf up over my face, put my head down into the wind, and started running. After 5 minutes, I was comfortable. After the first mile, I was warm and enjoying the view of the icy Kennebec River flowing by, not imagining being anywhere else but right where I was, running in the freezing cold with a big smile on my face.

Mandy 1, Excuse Demon 0.

30 comments:

Katie said...

Ohh I love this post, I have not been able to get myself outside since it dipped below 30 (I'm a baby, I know :/) The treadmill everyday is not really cutting it, i'm gonna have to suck it up and get my butt outside a few days a week!

Kiersten said...

I can't wait to start running again! Though I'm glad it doesn't get that cold here.

Chloe said...

Ok -just reading about that run gets me excited. See, we don't have snow or frozen rivers in Florida. And I love that sound of snow hitting the ground and nothingness around you because it's to flipping cold for anyone else to be out there! Take that excuse demon!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Love it Mandy! I started my blog about 5 days after you. Was going to do the same thing...repost that very first entry. I read it yesterday and it made me laugh. How far we have come and how much fun it has been and continues to be. I'll get back to your email tomorrow morning. Hope you had a great run this evening.

Aimee said...

I also love this post too! The end is the best b/c no matter how much we delay doing a workout, once we're out there it's always awesome!
Once I kick this chest cold to the curb, I am not going to make any more excuses. I've been doing too much of that and it needs to stop! If you can run in -10, I can run in 30 degrees! :)

Jay said...

That's a really cool post Mandy, I gotta take the time to read your entire blog sometime! So i was wondering, what kind of layering do you do when you run in sub-freezing temps? All I have is a set of tights from Underarmor. You may have done this before, but you should do a cold weather gear review! I'd find it helpful at least!

Ironman By Thirty said...

Great post! Getting started is the hardest part. As cold as it may be, you always warm up once you get started.

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

Woo-hoo! here's to a year later in bloggyville! so, so cool;-) and now look at ya..i think i just saw 181 plus cool peep followers.

well...i just gotta say i'm glad i found you and your blog. keep it comin'!

Glenn Jones said...

Hmm. If it were -10 outside I think he excuse demon would win. Of course I say that living somewhere where it was 86 today. No kidding!

Black Knight said...

Only 1 year and you are so popular! Please go on.
Great post, I like it.

Jamoosh said...

Taking down the excuse demon - Sweet!

Derek said...

Great Post! I really enjoyed reading that today, thanks

Christi said...

Great post! That is so great that you kicked the excuse demon to the curb!

And you know it sometimes helps me when people call me weird! That reminds me that I am not following the path our nation to obseity! So I use that as motivation!

Copychic said...

Good for you! You're inspiring me the next time I say "brrr, it's 30 degrees, way to cold to run..."

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

That is a good one Mandy, glad you reposted it!

glutenfreetri said...

Thanks for the reminder! It's windy outside and I was hemming and hawing about heading out - I can beat the wind : )

Andrew Opala said...

fabulous - I love the smash!

Anne-Marie said...

You are so hardcore for running in those crazy negative temps! My excuse demon seems to be the most convincing first thing in the morning, when I don't want to get out of bed. It is a great feeling when you know you've beaten it, though!

Kimberly said...

Way to win the battle! I so gave into the excuse monster today (still exercised just didn't run), and this post gave me a good kick. Especially when I complain about temps below 10 degrees and your temps are 10 below. Such an inspiration!

misszippy said...

Way to go Mandy! A reminder that it's always worth getting out there, no matter how hard!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

This is exactly why you are a ROCKSTAR

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Our little girl is growing up, sniff sniff. Seems like you kick that excuse demon's a$$ on a regular basis!

Luke said...

I like the tally at the bottom. I might start keeping a running tally somewhere in the house of all the workouts that I did after I didn't want to. Seems like it would be good motivation for overcoming those demons.

Colleen said...

You've come a long way! :) Great post!

DRog said...

I read this last night...it helped me get my 22 :) thank you Mandy!

Jon said...

I love this post! I had to remind myself that you wrote this LAST year when you mentioned the running a spring marathon and late summer Half Ironman. I was like, WHAT HAPPENED TO PLACID?!?! hahahahaha!

We actually got our first snow last night! I pushed myself outside into 20 degrees this morning. I am such a badass, right? ;)p

Jill said...

You are so incredibly awesome! You've definitely got the head in the right frame, the rest comes easy!! :)

My Life and Running said...

Awesome! Thank you for the inspiration rockin' lady!

LMC said...

Great post. These cold days, we can all use a reminder not to let the excuse demon win! Thanks!

Annie said...

So I won't complain about the Texas cold anymore. You pretty much rock.